House Church Talk - new book notice

David Anderson david at
Tue Aug 31 13:01:00 EDT 2004

House Church and Mission: The Importance of Household Structures in Early 
by Roger W. Gehring

For nearly three hundred years, early Christians met almost exclusively 
in private homes initially built only for domestic use. In this study, 
Roger Gehring investigates the missional significance of house churches 
from the time of Jesus through Paul in light of both theological and 
sociohistorical considerations. 

All church structures take shape in the tension between preestablished 
theological requirements and the concrete social situation. Even in the 
New Testament, the emergence of separate house churches involved the 
potential danger of splintering the Christian movement. Nevertheless 
their essential family-based foundation has proven to be the 
life-generating cell and fundamental core of the missional church.

The development of early Christian ethics, the emergence of leadership 
structures, and the growth of ecclesiological concepts were all 
noticeably influenced by the households in which believers lived and 
gathered. In the last twenty-five years the house church phenomenon has 
generated a great deal of interest among New Testament scholars and 
church practitioners. Research has focused primarily on the architecture 
of these homes and on its corresponding social and theological 

House Church and Mission offers scholars the first comprehensive summary 
of evidence concerning home churches in the New Testament and supplies 
pastors and lay leaders with a well-crafted discussion of the nature of 
"church" that explores the practical implications of house churches on 

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